List of people on the autistic spectrum

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This page is a list of famous people who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

People diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder[change | change source]

Actors and singers[change | change source]

Person: Diagnosis: Famous For: Source
Dan Aykroyd Asperger's Acting; says his Asperger's helped him with the movie Ghostbusters because he was so interested in ghosts and law enforcement [1]
Susan Boyle Asperger's Winning 2nd place on Britain's Got Talent in 2009, then becoming a famous singer [1]
Paddy Considine Asperger's Actor, says his 2011 directorial debut Tyrannosaur is partly based on his condition [2]
James Durbin Asperger's Winning 4th place on American Idol in 2011, then becoming a famous singer and guitar player [3]
Daryl Hannah Autism Acting; diagnosed with autism during childhood [1][4]
Courtney Love Autism Singing, writing songs, and acting; diagnosed with "mild autism" at age 9 [5]

Models[change | change source]

Person: Diagnosis: Famous For: Source
Heather Kuzmich Asperger's Winning 5th place on America's Next Top Model in 2007 [1]
Alexis Wineman PDD-NOS In 2013, she was voted Miss Montana. She became the first person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to compete in the Miss America pageant [1]

Other famous people[change | change source]

Person: Diagnosis: Famous For: Source
Govy Autism Being an award winning visual artist; exhibited internationally; diagnosed in 2013. [6][7]
Temple Grandin Autism Being a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University; improving how animals like cattle are treated; fighting for autism rights [1]
Ahmed Al-Rahimi Autism Being a clever student on Køge Gymnasium in Denmark [8]

People from history[change | change source]

Some doctors, writers, and historians think they can diagnose people from the past with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. They do this by reading about what the person was like and seeing if any of the symptoms of an Autism Spectrum Disorder fit that person.

Because autism and Asperger syndrome were first described in the 1940s, none of these people could have actually been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder while they were alive.

Person: Diagnosis: Famous For: Who Thought They Had an ASD?
Michelangelo Asperger's Being a famous artist during the Renaissance. He was unable to keep relationships with other people. Arshad and Fitzgerald;[9][10] Ioan James[11]
Glenn Gould Asperger's Being a Canadian pianist, and an interpreter for Johann Sebastian Bach. Gould liked routine so much that he used the same seat until it was worn through. He did not like talking to people, and when he got older, he used the phone or letters any time he needed to communicate with someone. He did not like being touched, and would rock back and forth while playing music. Michael Fitzgerald,[9] Ioan James,[11] Tony Attwood,[12] Peter Ostwald[13]
Charles XII of Sweden Asperger's Being King of Sweden from 1697-1718. He was stubborn, did exactly the same things every day, and did not feel bad for other people. Gillberg[14] and Lagerkvist[15]
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Asperger's Being a famous composer who wrote his first music at age five Tony Attwood[12] and Michael Fitzgerald;[9] others disagree[16]
Thomas Jefferson Asperger's Being the 3rd President of the United States and writing the Declaration of Independence Norm Ledgin,[17] Tony Attwood,[12] and Ioan James[11]
Henry Cavendish Autism Being a famous 18th century British scientist. He rarely saw other people, had trouble dealing with other people, could not look people in the eyes, and was very interested in patterns. Oliver Sacks[18] and Ioan James.[11][19] Fred Volkmar of Yale Study Child Center disagrees.[20]
Emily Dickinson Asperger's Being one of the most famous poets of all time Vernon Smith[21]
James Joyce Asperger's Writing a famous book called Ulysses Michael Fitzgerald and Antionette Walker;[22] others disagree.[23]
Blind Tom Wiggins Autism (savant) Even though he was blind, he learned to play the piano at age 4. He became one of the best-known American pianists in the 19th century. Oliver Sacks[24]
Prince John of the United Kingdom Autism This 20th century British prince was famous for his epilepsy and staying away from other people. He did the same things over and over again, and is thought to have been autistic and intellectually disabled. K. D. Reynolds[25] and Paul Tizley[26]
Charles Richter Asperger's Being the seismologist who created the Richter scale Susan Hough[27]
Stanley Kubrick Asperger's Being a famous filmmaker. He was obsessive and had trouble dealing with other people when he was making movies. Michael Fitzgerald and Viktoria Lyons[9][28]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Schocker, Laura (December 12, 2013). "These 8 Inspiring People Will Change the Way You Think About Autism and Asperger’s". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  2. {{cite web |
  3. Durbin, James (January 8, 2013). "‘American Idol’ Favorite Overcomes Tourette’s, Asperger’s". Cable News Network (CNN), Turner Broadcasting, Inc.. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  4. Willingham, Emily (September 29, 2013). "‘Wall Street’ Actress Daryl Hannah is an Autistic Woman". LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  5. Brite, Poppy Z. (1998). Courtney Love: The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-684-84800-6.
  6. "A' Design Award & Competition - Artist Profile". A' Design Award & Competition. A' Design Award & Competition. 2014-02-18.
  7. Pape, Dave (August 28, 2015). "YOU + SPACE + TIME". davepape.
  8. Wallace, Benjamin (May 12, 2014). "Autism Spectrum: Are You On It? If so, you’re in good company. From Asperger’s to “Asperger’s,” how the spectrum became quite so all-inclusive". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Fitzgerald, Michael (2005). The genesis of artistic creativity: Asperger's syndrome and the arts. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 1-84310-334-6.
  10. Arshad M; Fitzgerald M 2004. "Did Michelangelo (1475-1564) have high-functioning autism?". Journal of Medical Biography 12 (2): 115–20. PMID 15079170.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 James, Ioan (2006). Asperger's Syndrome and High Achievement: Some Very Remarkable People. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 1-84310-388-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Attwood T 2000. "Strategies for Improving the Social Integration of Children with Asperger Syndrome". Autism (National Autistic Society/SAGE) 4 (1): 85-100. doi:10.1177/1362361300004001006.
  13. Ostwald, Peter (1998). Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius. New York: Norton. ISBN 0393318478. Quoted in: Ledgin, Norm; Grandin, Temple (2005). Asperger's and Self-Esteem. Future Horizons. pp. 123–129. ISBN 1885477856.
  14. Gillberg C 2002. "Karl XII tycks ha uppfyllt de flesta kriterierna för Aspergers syndrom" (in Swedish). Läkartidningen 99 (48): 4837–8. PMID 12523067.
  15. Lagerkvist B 2002. "[Charles XII had all symptoms of Asperger syndrome: stubbornness, a stereotyped existence and lack of compassion]" (in Swedish). Läkartidningen 99 (48): 4874–8. PMID 12523074.
  16. Ashoori A; Jankovic J 2007. "Mozart's movements and behaviour: a case of Tourette's syndrome?". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 78 (11): 1171–5. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2007.114520. PMC 2117611. PMID 17940168.
  17. Ledgin, Norm (2000). Diagnosing Jefferson. Future Horizons. ISBN 1-885477-60-0.
  18. Sacks O 2001. "Henry Cavendish: an early case of Asperger's syndrome?". Neurology 57 (7): 1347. doi:10.1212/wnl.57.7.1347. PMID 11591871. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01.
  19. James I 2003 (2003). "Singular scientists". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 96 (1): 36–9. doi:10.1258/jrsm.96.1.36. PMC 539373. PMID 12519805.
  20. Goode, Erica (October 9, 2001). "CASES; A Disorder Far Beyond Eccentricity". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  21. Fitzgerald, Michael (2004). Autism and creativity: is there a link between autism in men and exceptional ability?. East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge. ISBN 1-58391-213-4.
  22. Walker, Antoinette; Michael Fitzgerald (2006). Unstoppable Brilliance: Irish Geniuses and Asperger's Syndrome. Liberties Press. ISBN 1-905483-03-1.
  23. Whelan PJ 2009. "James Joyce and Asperger syndrome". British Journal of Psychiatry 195 (6): 555–6. doi:10.1192/bjp.195.6.555a. PMID 19949213.
  24. Sacks, Oliver (2005). An Anthropologist on Mars. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 033053713X.
  25. Reynolds, K.D. (2004). "John, Prince (1905–1919)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76928. (subscription needed)
  26. Tizley, Paul (director) (2008). Prince John: The Windsors' Tragic Secret (Documentary). London: Channel 4.
  27. Marschall, Laurence A (February 2007). "Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man". Natural History (
  28. Viktoria Lyons; Michael Fitzgerald (1 January 2005). Asperger Syndrome: A Gift Or a Curse?. Nova Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59454-387-6.